The InterContinental Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Hotel is exactly what you'd want out of an airport hotel: It's well-designed with spacious, comfortable rooms and some great dining options – and it's located right at the doorstep of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
But, the hotel has undergone some changes since it opened in 2018, and not all of them are good. The top-floor bar doesn't appear to be open anymore and the spa, which included a thermal pool, has been converted into executive meeting rooms, taking away a nice amenity to focus more on the in-and-out business travelers. Plus, the TSA security checkpoint that let travelers easily get from the airport to the hotel without even stepping outside remains closed.
Despite that, my recent stay exceeded my expectations for what I had wrongly assumed was a basic airport hotel. The InterContinental MSP Airport is a great place to stay during a long layover or if you have an early morning or late night flight out of this Midwestern hub airport.
How to Book the InterContinental MSP Airport
The best way to book the InterContinental MSP Airport is through the hotel's website and with InterContinental Hotels Group, or IHG.
When you search on the hotel's website, you'll get options for rooms or suites. The most basic King Bed Classic rooms are typically around $211 per night, a reasonable rate for an airport hotel.
If you have IHG Rewards points you want to use on the stay, the same room is about 34,000 IHG points for an off-peak season stay.
In the summer, the hotel will run you closer to $239-$250 per night.
The award rate jumps up to 43,000 during the peak summer months, too.
You can find the InterContinental MSP on tons of different hotel booking sites if you'd prefer to do it that way, but you're not likely to find a much better deal than through IHG itself.
Plus, if you are looking to use or earn IHG points, you need to make the booking directly with IHG.
Checking In and Parking
The InterContinental MSP Airport is located at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's Terminal 1. If you've never been to MSP before, Terminal 2 is a long way away and requires a ride on our city's light rail system or a five-minute shuttle ride out and around the airfield.
For this reason, the InterContinental MSP Airport is most convenient for travelers flying out of Terminal 1. If you're traveling on Sun Country, JetBlue, or Southwest, you'll have to take a longer shuttle ride to Terminal 2.
The 12-story hotel is hard to miss on the left as you're driving into the airport. To get to the InterContinental MSP, follow the signs for “Hotel” as you drive into the airport. It will take you on a roundabout journey between the parking ramps until you get to the entrance and take a left at this sign.
The hotel will be on your left. It has a place for loading and unloading like any normal hotel. You can see one of the terminal shuttles parked there when I arrived in the early evening.
I was parking at the hotel, so I drove around to the well-marked hotel parking area. While the hotel parking rates were nearly identical to those to park at the airport itself, getting in and out of the lot is considerably more convenient than the main airport terminal.
From the roof of the parking garage, you can see that the hotel is still across a small road.
The other way to enter the hotel is through the skyway between the hotel and the C concourse at Terminal 1.
If you're arriving from a flight and you land in Terminal 1, you can walk right from the hotel from the skyway, but only if you just have a carry-on bag. The skyway entrance is after the TSA security checkpoints, so travelers with checked bags to collect from baggage claim or those arriving at Terminal 2 will have to take a complimentary shuttle to get to the hotel.
In the past, the skyway has also functioned as a TSA security checkpoint between the hotel and the concourse, which was a huge reason to stay at the InterContinental MSP. However, that checkpoint is currently closed due to TSA staffing issues, with no plans to reopen in the near future. More on that later.
Once you're in the hotel, you walk into the massive, two-story front lobby full of natural light, fun art, and modern design touches.
The check-in counters are immediately visible across from the main entrance on the ground floor, to the right of the elevator bay. There were at least four check-in agents working when I arrived, so I had no trouble getting checked in quickly.
InterContinental MSP Aiport Room
After check-in, I headed for my room on the fifth floor. Thanks to IHG Platinum status, I was upgraded to a King Corner room from a King Classic, meaning my room was all the way at the end of the wall.
Travelers may be happy to know that the InterContinental MSP Airport is still adhering to COVID-19 safety precautions, like taping the doors to the rooms to let guests know they had been cleaned and disinfected.
The King Corner room was surprisingly large. This is the view from the entrance.
Plus, the room offered a nice look at the airport runways. I watched planes come and go well into the evening.
Because it was a corner room and the east-facing wall was all windows, I enjoyed some sweeping views of Minnesota River Valley, too.
During a previous stay at the InterContinental, some members of the Thrifty Traveler team were assigned a King Classic room that looked like this.
While still a nice room, it had a much more limited view than my corner room.
In the King Corner room, I found the king-sized bed to be very comfortable.
Next to it is a full-sized closet with an iron and a safe for storing valuables. Laundry service was also available upon request.
Across from the bed is a large flat-screen TV on a table that doubles as a desk. The binder on the desk featured the room service menu.
Like many of IHG's higher-end properties, this room came with a Nespresso machine and six pods. I love this touch in hotel rooms. Nespresso machines are nice and make a wonderful shot of espresso in the mornings.
Underneath the espresso machine was a mini fridge. There were no minibar items, even though my colleagues said there were minibar wines, liquors, beers, and soft drinks when they stayed a few years ago. It's possible the minibar was a casualty of the pandemic.
The TVs at the InterContinental MSP come equipped with Google Chromecast. It's one of my favorite features at hotels nowadays because you can stream the content you want from your own phone or laptop to the TV and not have to rely on basic cable.
Another pandemic holdover, the bedside table had a plastic-wrapped remote and two hand sanitizing wipes.
There were outlets on the bedside table, which included two full plug-ins and two USB ports. There's also a full-room light switch and a little reading light switch on the side.
The bathroom was nice, too, with long countertops, a single sink, and a wide mirror.
The toilet was around the back of the bathroom in a little privacy nook.
The walk-in shower was plenty spacious.
All of the rooms had “Eco Botanics” branded soaps.
InterContinental MSP Airport Property
The InterContinental MSP Airport isn't the same hotel it was before the pandemic. It's missing many of the amenities that really made it great, especially for travelers, but it's still a nice property overall.
To start, the lobby is spacious and beautifully designed.
From the mezzanine level above, you can see the cafe and the sitting areas of the lobby below. Everything is full of sunlight thanks to the huge windows.
The cafe serves both a full-service coffee shop and a mini convenience store for hotel guests. There's a full menu of made-to-order coffee drinks available, lots of grab-and-go options, and a snack area off to the left.
Next to the check-in desks is a big “wish you were here” neon sign pointing you toward the elevators.
Up on the second floor is a big, open space for conferences and events. There were four chairs and a small table awkwardly placed in the middle of the large room.
The hotel previously housed the Elevations Spa Luxury Spa & Thermal Pool. Sadly, the spa area has been gutted and converted into what the hotel calls the Elevations Executive Meetings Rooms.
The thermal pool, now a thing of the past, looked pretty great, too.
While the pool is gone, the fitness center has stayed relatively the same since our last visit. It includes some cardio machines, free weights, medicine balls, foam rollers, and even a Peloton bike.
The loss of the spa and thermal pool was a tough blow, especially to make way for more simple meeting rooms. The spa area provided a restful sanctuary for both guests and travelers and was a nice place to unwind before or after a long flight.
Despite these changes, the InterContinental MSP is a great property. It's just lacking some splashier amenities.
InterContinental MSP Airport TSA Checkpoint
One of the biggest selling points of the InterContinental MSP was that it had a dedicated TSA security checkpoint for hotel guests to access the airport gates straight from the hotel. The checkpoint and connecting skyway opened in 2018 and $cost $24 million to build, but it only operated for about one year before it was shut down in 2019.
TSA has never been able to fully staff the security checkpoint, so now it's just a vacant, expensive skyway that brings arriving passengers at Terminal 1 to the hotel (so long as they don't have any checked bags), but not vice versa.
Travelers with checked bags or those flying into Terminal 2 have to jump on one of the InterContinental's ground shuttles, which run every 20 minutes 24 hours a day. You can call the hotel at 612-725-0500 to be picked up when you get outside of the baggage claim, too.
The closure of this security checkpoint is disappointing, to say the least. Being able to clear airport security at the hotel was a huge perk for hotel guests and not having that connection to the airport via the skyway anymore almost defeats the purpose of staying at an on-site airport hotel.
Hopefully, as travel returns to normal, the TSA can once again staff this checkpoint, but considering the checkpoint shut down long before the pandemic, it seems unlikely.
InterContinental MSP Airport Dining
There are three options when it comes to dining at the Intercontinental MSP Airport: La Voya Brasserie, Bradstreet Crafthouse, or room service.
The room service menu is a mix of both restaurants' menus, but if you want to go eat in person, head down to the lobby where you'll see the adjacent entrances to both La Voya and Bradstreet.
La Voya is a higher-end, bistro-style restaurant featuring traditional French dishes with a Minnesota twist. It's well-lit with big windows facing the airport. Bradstreet Crafthouse is a cozier, more sporty vibe serving more casual fare like burgers, sandwiches, salads, and small plates.
But, you don't have to choose between the two! There's a bar between the two restaurants, which is where I opted to sit. The server handed me both menus right away. I wasn't sure if they did this at every seat in the house, but I essentially had my choice of two different restaurants all in one while sitting at the bar.
I ordered off the Bradstreet Crafthouse menu and got wings along with a salad plus a cocktail and found it all to be delicious.
I also ordered a glass of wine to take up to the room after my meal, no problem.
Having two different restaurants of this caliber in an airport hotel is part of what makes the InterContinental MSP so great. While you'll find better cuisine venturing in the Twin Cities, for airport dining, this is about as good as it gets. I'd even consider eating at either restaurant if I had a long layover at MSP, so long as you don't mind getting on a shuttle to get there and re-clearing security on the way back in.
The InterContinental MSP Airport Hotel has lost some of the amenities that made it such a boon for travelers, like the dedicated TSA security checkpoint and a thermal pool and spa for unwinding after a long flight, but for an on-site airport hotel, it's still more than comfortable and convenient.
From the rooms to the restaurants to the unbeatable location next to MSP Airport's Terminal 1, the InterContinental MSP Airport is worth a stay if you're flying in and out of Minneapolis – and if you can book it for the right price.